UOC-MP responded to Poroshenko’s request to assist in releasing Ukrainian sailors from Russian captivity
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) said it had responded to President Petro Poroshenko's request to help release the sailors captured by Russia on November 25, according to LB.ua.
In the comments to TASS, the head of the Information and Educational Department of the UOC MP, Bishop Klyment (Vecherya) said that such talks with Russia “on the church line” are ongoing.
"The President of Ukraine appealed to His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufriy with such a request. Indeed, the Church's participation in the process of the return of our soldiers who are on the uncontrolled territory of Ukraine and in Russia is constantly ongoing. His Beatitude sent multiple appeals to Patriarch Kirill. The negotiations are conducted “along the church line so that it would be possible to return in a humanitarian manner all Ukrainian citizens to our territory,” he said.
"While the work is underway, and this problem is voiced, the patriarch is highly interested in the efforts of the church bearing fruit. So we expect there will be some results,” he said.
As reported, on November 25, Russia seized three Ukrainian warships in neutral waters of the Black Sea. The crew of two boats and a tug - 24 people - were taken to Simferopol, where the Russian-controlled court arrested all Ukrainians for two months. The next day, the seamen were transported to Moscow, where they are now.
The US State Department has called on Russia to release Ukrainian soldiers detained in the Black Sea near the Kerch Strait, “otherwise the consequences and pain will only increase over time.”
The head of European diplomacy, Federica Mogerini, also called on Russia to release Ukrainian sailors without any conditions.